Proverbs 14; Ways which seem right versus ways that are right

A central theme in this chapter is found in verse 12, “there is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death”.  What characteristics of a faith walk allow “our way” not to seem right then end wrongly but to be right and continue well?  Enter verse 8, we “understand [properly] our way”  when “the wisdom of the sensible” is applied.  In the rest of this chapter, Solomon helps us to see what makes up a sensible and wise way.  Regarding the sensible he reminds us to:  avoid “foolish” company ( verse 7), consider our steps (verse 15), and be “crowned with (ie have) knowledge” (verse 18).  Regarding the wise way he reminds us to “build our house” (verses 1), use speech for protection (verse 3), and be cautious and turn from evil (verse 16).  There are many other good attributes in this chapter, but those above are associated directly with being sensible and wise;  lofty ideals with practical outcomes.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Then we must submit to James’s answer about the requirement of true wisdom. Consistent with his previous instructions, James again requires actions that authenticate words. Who claims to be wise? Let him show it by his good life. Today the phrase good life has taken a connotation of a prosperous, pleasurable life. James, of course, is talking about quite another matter: moral goodness. His phrase is kales anastrophes, “good conduct” or “good behavior.” He elaborates: Let him show it . . . by deeds. James is thinking with the same verb deiknymi and noun ergon as in 2:18; his point must be very close to that earlier verse. Genuine wisdom, like faith, is a practical matter; it shows up in how one lives. Literally James says, “Let him show by good behavior his deeds in the humility of wisdom.” Wisdom, then, is not something I will merely possess in my head; if I am wise at all, it is something I will demonstrate in my conduct.

    1. Yes, thanks for the comments and your insightful exegesis from the Greek no less. James is a great parallel passage here.

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